Thailand regional carrier announced to the Bangkok Post to currently study its comeback to Vietnam. The airline wants to cooperate with Vietnam Airlines to serve new destinations.
Looking at gaps in Bangkok’s Indochina air network, Vietnam appears almost like a “Terra Incognita” for what can be considered as the “natural” gateway to the Mekong region. Bangkok has only flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and attempts to have regular frequencies to other cities such as Danang, Hue or Nha Tr ang have so far failed to materialize.
But this could change rapidly as Bangkok Airways President Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth highlighted recently to the Bangkok post its desire to be back to Vietnam. According to Prasarttong-Osoth, services to Vietnam could either be fulfilled through a cooperation agreement with Vietnam Airlines or with flights with its own aircraft. According to the Thai newspaper, negotiations are already underway with Vietnam Airlines.
Priority is given to services to Danang, Central Vietnam largest city with a million inhabitants and a fast-developing tourism destination with six million travellers a year. Danang is a gateway to world heritage sites in the region such as Hoi An, Hue and .
The carrier is also looking at serving Phu Quoc Island, dubbed as the new Vietnamese Phuket off the coast across Kampot, in Southern Cambodia. For Phu Quoc, Bangkok Airways could operate its ATR 72 turboprops from Bangkok three or four times a week from next year, according to airline’s insiders.
In the past, Bangkok Airways already served Vietnam with flights to Danang –some 20 years ago- and a decade ago to Ho Chi Minh City. The airline pulled out from HCMC as competition was intense from low cost and other premium carriers.
Bangkok Airways wants also to increase its presence in Myanmar. The airline currently operates three routes from Bangkok to Myanmar, to Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw as ell as regular frequencies from Chiang Mai to Mandalay and Yangon. According to the Bangkok Post, the airline is now looking at potentially serving Myeik and Dawei. From December 1, Bangkok Airways will increase its presence to Myanmar by serving daily the Chiang Mai-Yangon route instead of four times a week as well as the Chiang Mai-Mandalay route with four flights a week instead of three.